How to manually vacuum a pool is something every pool owner should know. Sure, you can trust the best robotic pool cleaners and pool vacuums to keep your pool floor free of sediment and debris, but there will be times when you have to vacuum your pool to get it thoroughly cleaned manually. Fortunately, manually vacuuming your pool is simple, although it can be time-consuming and labour-intensive. Nonetheless, it is an essential part of being a responsible pool owner. As such, we’ve outlined the steps below to manually vacuum a pool with a skimmer so you can get started immediately.
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6 Steps on How to Manually Vacuum Your Pool
The steps to manually vacuum the pool described in the following paragraphs are intended for in-ground pools. However, you will find that the process is similar to cleaning an above-ground pool, with minor differences in a few ways.
Clean the pool’s surface before we start on how to vacuum a pool with a skimmer. You need to do a bit of cleaning first. This means removing leaves, twigs, and other debris floating on the water’s surface using a net pool skimmer. You should also remove all large debris from the pool floor. Otherwise, they can be sucked in and cause the vacuum system to clog during the vacuuming process.
Also, you will need to turn off the pump and empty the dirt pump basket. Also, close the main drain valve. Also, this instructable on how to vacuum a pool with a skimmer uses only one skimmer. Thus, if your collection has two skimmers, turn off the one you will not use to clean.
- Assemble your cleaning crew
Once you’ve finished cleaning your pool with a pre-vacuum, you can gather the equipment and supplies you’ll need to hand vacuum your collection. These include the following:
- Pool vacuum head. Pool vacuum heads have a standard design that allows them to fit directly onto the end of most pool cleaning poles, so you should be fine finding one to use. Just be sure to consider the type of pool liner you have, as some pool vacuum heads are not suitable for vinyl pool liners.
- Telescopic pool poles. You are going to need pool poles to move the head of the vacuum. You already have one of these telescopes—pool poles. If you have rods connecting to your pool skimmers, nets, and hooks, you can use those. If they are not the telescopic type, you can still use them as long as they reach the bottom of the deepest area of your pool.
- Vacuum hose. There are various pool vacuum hoses that you can use, and most of these can be connected to all types of vacuum systems. Again, you’ll want to ensure that if you buy a vacuum hose, it’s long enough to reach all areas (especially the deepest parts) of your pool.
- Vacuum plate. A vacuum plate or skimmer vac allows you to use the skimmer basket instead of the pump strainer basket. This eliminates the need to turn the pump on and off during suction.
You may consider using a DIY pool vacuum to save money, but it’s not recommended for profound cleaning. These home vacuums may work where there is minimal debris to clean up, but not for heavily contaminated pools. On that note, consider investing in one of the different pool vacua and cleaning accessories mentioned above. In addition, you will be able to use them for a long time, especially when you already know how to vacuum a pool with a skimmer and will do it regularly.
- Assemble your pool vacuum system
To assemble your pool vacuum system:
- Start by connecting the vacuum head to the open end of the pool’s telescoping pole.
- Click one end of the vacuum pool hose on the vacuum head. If you have trouble keeping the hose in place, you can use a clamp.
- Place the vacuum head along with the pool pole and vacuum hose in the pool.
- Make sure the pool vacuum head is resting on the pool floor.
- Prepare your vacuum system.
The goal is to remove all air from your vacuum system, as air pockets can cause your system to lose suction. To do this, take the other end of the pool suction hose and connect it to the pool’s return jet. This will force all the air out of the hose, and you will see air bubbles floating up and out of the vacuum head. Continue until there are no more air bubbles, which means the vacuum hose is free of air and ready to use.
- Connect the vacuum to the pump
Once all the air is out, remove the vacuum hose from the return jet and fit the vacuum plate. Use your hand to block the opening. Be sure to seal the door to prevent loss of suction completely.
With your hand blocking the opening, move it closer to the skimmer. Next, remove the strainer basket and insert the hose into the suction hole at the bottom of the skimmer. Remember that the entire vacuum system is powered by the suction created by the pool’s circulation pump. If your vacuum loses suction while vacuuming the pool, repeat the steps above to restore suction.
- Vacuum your pool
This is where the work on how to vacuum the pool manually begins. Once the vacuum system is in place, you can start cleaning your pool. Move the vacuum head back and forth in long, sweeping strokes across the pool’s bottom surface until you are satisfied that it is clean and free of debris. Start vacuuming from the pool’s shallow end and work your way to the deep end. Make sure you cover the entire collection.
Tips when vacuuming your pool manually.
- Don’t rush the process. Depending on the size of your pool, the vacuuming process can take anywhere from a few hours to an entire afternoon. Be patient, and don’t rush the process.
- Vacuum carefully. If you have yet to be on top of your pool maintenance, chances are there’s a lot of debris building up on the bottom of your pool, even if you can’t see it. If you’re not careful, you’ll disturb them and cause them to float all over the water, making it harder to vacuum. If the water turns cloudy while cleaning, you will have to wait an hour or two for the debris to settle before you can vacuum again.
- Give it a break. Sometimes the vacuum head gets stuck while you are cleaning the pool. If this happens, turn off the pump for a few seconds to stop the suction and break the momentum.
- Keep an eye on the indicator. As you vacuum, you’ll want to pay attention to the pressure gauge on your pool filter. You will need to keep the pressure below the manufacturer’s recommended levels. If the level exceeds that, turn off the vacuum and take a break.
Post-vacuum cleaning and water treatment
Once you’re done vacuuming your pool floor, it’s time to do a final clean. Begin disassembling your vacuum system by removing the vacuum head from the telescopic pole. Then, remove any water that has become trapped in the vacuum hose. Rinse your cleaning kit with fresh water and allow it to dry completely before storing it.
Next, take the filter basket from the pump and clean it out. Remove any debris you find there. Then give the filter a final backwash. If you used the “Debris” setting while vacuuming the pool, switch the valve back to the “Filter” setting. You can add water to the collection until the desired water level is reached.
Once you’ve added enough water, it’s time to add chemicals and adjust if necessary. Remember to add your water sanitiser too.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Does the skimmer basket come off when vacuuming the pool?
A: You must remove the skimmer basket when vacuuming the pool to remove all dirt and debris effectively. Also, the skimmer basket will only get in your way while cleaning your pool.